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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Columbia

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Maryland Man Sentenced to 56 Months in Prison For Assaulting Transgender Girl on Metrorail Train Defendant Threatened, Harassed and Stabbed 15-Year-Old Victim

           WASHINGTON – Reginald Klaiber, 25, of Greenbelt, Md., was sentenced today to 56 months in prison for stabbing a transgender girl while she was on board a Metrorail train, U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen Jr. announced.

Klaiber, also known as Reginald Kaliber, pled guilty in January 2015, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, to a charge of assault with a dangerous weapon, with a hate crime enhancement. He was sentenced by the Honorable Juliet McKenna, who described the assault as “brutal.”

           “Hate crimes against transgender people occur with troubling frequency and demand a forceful response,” said U.S. Attorney Machen.  “Reginald Klaiber stabbed a 15-year-old girl on the Metro solely because of who she is.  This prison sentence should make clear that we will not tolerate hate-fueled violence in the District of Columbia.”

            According to the government’s evidence, Klaiber confronted the 15-year-old victim on July 30, 2014, at about 4:30 p.m., while both were on a Green Line train approaching the Fort Totten Metro station in Northeast Washington. The victim, who was dressed in women’s clothing, was with two of her friends on the train. Klaiber attempted to engage her in conversation and she asked him to leave her alone. Klaiber began harassing her, saying, among other things, “Are you a boy, you are a boy, right?” and “Why you be looking like a woman?”

            The victim again asked Klaiber to leave her alone and to get away. As the train pulled into the Fort Totten station, she stood up. Klaiber stood up as well, pulled out a knife, grabbed the victim in a bear hug and stabbed her in the back. One of the victim’s friends sprayed Klaiber in the face with Mace or pepper spray. Klaiber released the victim, and she and her friends fled through interior train doors into a different Metro car. Klaiber continued to follow them until the exterior doors opened. The victim and her friends then ran into the Metro station, with Klaiber making threatening and harassing statements as he kept following them.

            One of the friends pointed out the defendant to Metro Transit Police officers, who apprehended him just outside the station. Police recovered a black folding knife with a three-inch, partially serrated blade in a search of the defendant.

            The victim, who later identified Klaiber as her assailant, required medical treatment for her injuries.

            Klaiber has been in custody since his arrest.

            When he committed the crime, Klaiber was on probation in two other Superior Court cases before the Honorable Patricia A. Broderick for attempted robbery and possession of a prohibited weapon, a knife.  As a result of the defendant’s plea in this case, Judge Broderick revoked Klaiber’s probation and sentenced him to 20 months on the attempted robbery charge and five months on the weapon charge.  Those sentences will run consecutive to the sentences in the new case.  In total, Klaiber was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison.

            In announcing the sentence, U.S. Attorney Machen commended the work of the Metro Transit Police. He also acknowledged the efforts of those who worked on the case from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, including Supervisory Victim/Witness Advocate Jennifer Clark and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bruckmann, who prosecuted the case.

15-041

Press Release Number: 
15-041
Updated March 13, 2015